Summary: Living with brokenness, living with suffering
"A Life of Quiet Brokenness" Romans 8:18-25
We gather in worship, in prayer, in meditation to make personal the life, the suffering, the death, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We come with our struggle of making Jesus someone who is real and alive for us in this day and age. We come with the struggle of letting Jesus be the Lord and the master of life. We come with the struggle of surrendering our sinful natures, our sinful selves to Him. We come struggling with our pride, and our conceit which says,"Wait a minute, I don’t need a God. I can handle life well enough by myself."We struggle that someone had to die for me, that I am that bad that someone had to die for me. Lord, we struggle and in our struggle we are beginning to see, oh so dimly, what it means to have YOU as Lord and Saviour of life.
We come not only struggling with our thoughts, our feelings, our doubts, our questions about Jesus as Lord of life. These questions we will constantly struggle with, but at the same time, we come with our suffering, with our pain, with our grief, with our sorrow, with our feeling the brokenness of this world and how that penetrates into our lives. We come as people who all to often feel the sinfulness of the creation, people who feel that life is unfair, people who feel that maybe God is not interested in my pain, my hurt and my fracturedness.
Tonight we are going to focus on the pain of the world, on the suffering, the quiet brokenness you and I endure as we walk our daily walk.
Paul says very clearly in our lesson from Romans that you and I live in a fallen and broken world. He says,"We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now." We live in a wounded and fallen world. A world that is no longer perfect, a world that is filled with sin, with temptation, with sickness, with sorrow, with tragedy, with pain, with loneliness, with broken relationships and with people feeling that are not what they would like to be.
Because of the kind of world we live in, my life, at times, is like that of Job’s. What I mean by that phrase, is, there is suffering in this world which is not caused by something that someone did to themselves, or what someone else did to them, but there is suffering, period. Suffering because of the brokenness which is all around us and it affects us in a whole host of ways.
With this as a fact, that we live in a less that perfect world, then, we are forced to be realistic about what is happening to each of us. As we realize that life is not going the way we like, that there are, indeed times when I encounter the suffering of this world, no matter how hard I try to cover it up, we come up against the age old question, why? Why me??
Why me? is a question which a pastor hears very often and which I have asked very often in my personal life. Why, Lord, does this have to happen to me? Our whys can be answered in all sorts of ways: ONE, a poem, "Our problems are like gates in our lives each day.....Some are easy to open but others seem like they are locked and the key thrown away....We come to a gate and we knock and we pound....We ask why?....But no answer can be found....Then if we settle down, and we stop to think and pray....Before we know it, the gate is opened and in answer to our problem we have found a way....There will be many gates in our lives that we think we can’t enter in....Let’s not just sit around and ask, why?....We know that in our daily lives we have sinned....So let us kneel and ask forgiveness from God above....Our gates will be opened through His wondrous love...Our problems will seem small, if our faith is strong...And if we remember, God has the key to our gate....And we can’t go wrong." by Gertie Mork, St. Paul’s, Irwin,.Iowa.
That beautiful poem by Gertie Mork speaks of the hope and the faith a person in God has to answer our whys, to answer our prayers. I believe that God, indeed, does have the key to the questions in all of our lives. On the other hand, sometimes in the short run of things, we cannot see that key. We are blinded by our own brokenness, our honest anger, or the human emotions which God has granted to each which allow us as Paul says to see in a mirror dimly, that is, not understanding all the mysteries of life. I believe that we should allow God those mysteries.